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Russian diplomat blasts Turkish media accusations of airspace violations

February 09, 13:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Russian ambassador, the only case of Russian aircaft violating the Turkish border was admitted by the Russian side and apologies were offered to Turkey "at the highest level"
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Turkish side of the border with Syria

Turkish side of the border with Syria

© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Ankara has stepped up accusations against Moscow that are becoming part of the anti-Russian campaigns in the Turkish mass media, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov has said in an interview with TASS.

"Of late, Turkey more often makes unfounded accusations, in particular, that Russia’s military aircraft allegedly violate the airspace," the diplomat said. "Most often, this misinformation launches anti-Russian campaigns in the Turkish mass media or becomes their part," he said.

Since the beginning of its operation in Syria on September 30, Russia has been acting very openly, he said, adding that Russia’s Defense Ministry has held regular briefings on the results of the fight against terrorists.

"We did not hide the only case of the confirmed violation by our aircraft of the Turkish airspace in October 2015," Karlov reminded. "Moreover, the apologies for this incident were offered to Turkey at the highest level."

"However, in all the other cases, including November 24, 2015, when the Su-24 was downed, the Turkish claims were rejected as groundless," the diplomat said. "Despite our demands to show the objective control data, Ankara has not so far provided facts that could confirm its allegations," he said.

Speaking on another alleged violation of the Turkish airspace by a Russian jet, the ambassador said according to the Turkish president the incident on January 29 was first registered by NATO. "However, the alliance could not provide any convincing evidence of this," Karlov said.

"Such anti-Russian campaigns are inconsistent with the statements of the Turkish leadership on the plans to restore dialogue with Russia," the diplomat said.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

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